Parking regulation, options increase

Attending an urban campus in the heart of Tacoma has benefits- but parking isn’t one of them. Fall quarter is now in full swing and students who drive will have to

face the fact that finding a cheap and nearby place to park is not the easiest thing to do. Changes to parking regulation will also affect the UWT driving community this year, so students need to know what options there are.

While Campus Safety can’t create more parking, they’ve implemented changes for the 2012-13 school year to create a “more efficient use of resources” so as to serve the most amount of students. Parking regulation has been handed over to Diamond Parking Enforcement, meaning that that company will have responsibility of giving out citations and managing the Cragle and Pinkerton lots. With the funding from parking revenue, it will be at no cost to students. Susan Wagshul-Golden, Director of Campus Safety & Security, says that the transition will allow for Campus Safety to “focus on patrols instead, leaving us more accessible to students.” The change also involves the “Diamond We Care Program,” which will provide vehicle assistance free of charge.

Ben Mauk, business manager in the Finance department, spoke of the reasons for this change, how it will improve parking availability and decrease the chances to park incorrectly or illegally. “We had a significant problem in the Cragle parking lot, with people not paying… It’s been a real sore spot.” The maximum time allowed is decreasing from five hours to three, and Mauk is confident it will better serve the campus’ “broader parking system in terms of our capabilities.” He suggests the Court 17 and WT31 lots for longer stays.

Equipped with computerized citation machines, D. P.E. outdoes the campus’ “paper and pencil parking enforcement method.” 144 citations were issued from August 14th to September 13th of 2012, compared to 27 during the same period in 2011. Kelly Fields, a sophomore, pays to park in lots on and around campus without a UWT permit. “I pay from $3 – $7 a day, depending on which lots are full.” Fields supports the idea of a stricter system, with some reservations. “More patrols sound like a good thing in theory, but I really hope there isn’t so much attention [on the parking lots] that I’d get ticketed for getting to my car one or two minutes late.” More changes are in store this year. On the success of last spring quarter, UWT is continuing its partnership with the Convention Center and the Glass Museum, where a permit would allow a student to park up to 26 times a quarter in their garages. 55 new permits are also being sold for the Vision Deuce lot near Fawcett Ave. and Court D. This lot will host free overflow parking for the first two weeks of fall quarter. According to Mauk, this will “increase the overall UWT permit parking supply by over 25% at no cost to the University and at significant discounts to students.”

Not everyone wants to pay for a UWT parking permit, which ranges from $45 – $150. Fortunately, there are options for drivers, if they know where to look.

David Bell, an employee on campus, advises drivers to utilize the free street parking on and above19th St. and Fawcett Ave. “It’s not metered yet. ‘Yet’ being the big word there.” Other than that, he suggests parking in the Freighthouse Square garage and taking the Link Transit to campus. “The garage is free but during school it usually fills up before 11 a.m. I would say unless you absolutely have to, don’t take a car.” Free parking is also available in the Tacoma Dome Transit Station garage.

Stormy Ross is a student who uses the U-Pass to take the bus to and from campus, saying, “Since it’s a commuter school, there’s busses everywhere and UWT is really at the hub of places.” Ross thinks that driving is a hassle not worth the effort. “It’s easier to use the bus in comparison. Everything’s right here.” The U-Pass costs $45 a quarter for students, and can be used on Community, Pierce, Metro, Kitsap, Everett and Sound Transit buses. It can also be used on the Sounder train. A UPass can be bought online through the campus website. With such limited parking, UWT goers need to analyze their commuting options carefully to decide what’s best for them.

Additional West Coast Grocery location

Last spring, UWT said a sorrowful goodbye to campus soups and salads vendor Coco

Bob’s, with the hopes that a replacement for the newly vacant Mattress Factory outpost would be found by this fall. With the hard work of ASUWT and university administration over the last few months, this hope should soon become reality through an extension of West Coast Grocery which is currently being called the West Coast Grocery Annex.

The Annex, Director of Student Involvement Ed Mirecki clarified, would not be “just a West Coast Grocery part two”. The extra utilities would enable them to serve a variety of food and drinks along with the normal fare of salads,

sandwiches, and fresh fruit.

The proposal for a WCG Annex came from Administration and Finance, but the Student Center Planning Committee of ASUWT has ten days after the beginning of fall quarter to finalize its approval. However, as this option is the only one currently available, it will likely go through.

There were some primary concerns focused on throughout the planning process. First and foremost is the main concern of prices for students; it is a widely known fact that college students would like to keep the price of lunch around $5 and WCG Annex has made this a top priority. This goal is possible for the Annex in a way it had not been for Coco Bob’s because as an extension, as opposed to a standalone option, they can maintain a lower overhead by buying

in bulk.

West Coast Grocery is also a university owned and run vendor that operates on a not for profit business model whose gains go solely to cover cost; subsidizing has also been considered as an option for lowering prices. Now the Mattress Factory is a student building, which means that the money Coco Bob’s paid in rent went to the students, however with this new campus run vendor, the Mat is looking at a revenue sharing option that would give a certain percentage of the proceeds to students.

Another focal point of student concern is healthy food choices on campus, which the WCG Annex will strive to provide by carrying fresh fruits and vegetables from local food vendors, along with coffee and baked goods.

If and when the decision is finalized, West Coast Grocery plans to hold a naming competition to produce a title more interesting than “Annex,” so keep an eye out for more information on that as fall quarter kicks into gear.

UWT 101: your guide to our unique campus

So it’s your first day, congratulations and salutations. Needless to say, you stopped by campus the day before to map out where exactly your classes will be, right? Well, this is for those of you who didn’t. Relax. Professors don’t usually drop you from the class on the first day. Here are a few noteworthy places on campus that you should probably stop by on your way to being late for your first class. Welcome to University of Washingon – Tacoma.

COFFEE

One of your most important decisions here at UWT will be where you will be receiving your caffeine. Metro Coffee, located right on the iconic UWT steps, sports vintage bicycles hanging on the walls with an equally quirky staff. The walls are decorated with local art as well as bulletin boards galore. If you want to get connected with the Downtown Tacoma scene, this is a good start.

Anthem Coffee & Tea is a larger space and features a haberdasher aesthetic with friendly rockabilly baristos. It’s usually pretty quiet as a lot of people figure since it’s connected to the History Musuem that it’s a gift shop. It’s not a gift shop. They sell wine, beer, and some of the best coffee this side of the Mississippi! Open mics occur here quite regularly.

MATTRESS FACTORY

This can be called a student center of sorts. Cafeteria seating makes this a popular study spot, and the free pool tables and new ping pong table certainly don’t hurt. Coco Bob’s sandwich shop used to be here, but is now replaced with a West Coast Grocery Annex. Also, you will find financial aid in this building. Ask for Bruce; as he’s the man. Associated students of the University of Washington Tacoma also known as ASUWT student government also resides here, and The Ledger newsroom, where we do our best to represent your interests, so do bring your soap box

GOOD EATS

Pacific hosts a wide array of food choices from your staple Subway to Burritos to Gyros to the higher end South East Asian eatery, Indochine. If you’re of age, The Harmon has a great happy hour menu with $6 nachos that come in one size: Obnoxiously big. If you’ve a more antiquated eye, you may want to trek up the stairs to the renowned Swiss bar which is the epidemi of a super-pub.

WALSH GARDNER PARK

Here is where the mighty vitamin D deficient Washingtonian goes to soak up some sun. It’s also a great place to people watch as there’s a few eccentric locals and you’ll find that the most fashionable and avant garde students on campus actually go to the School of the Arts.

ASUWT update: Dr. Lee West’s impending deportation

With new members and fresh ideas, the ASUWT team is gearing up for the 2012-13 school year. Their first meeting in mid-July appointed new office manager Samantha Ya and Chris Martinez joined the Judicial Board.

Aside from tentative autumn event plans, a big topic of discussion was the issue of UWT professor Dr. Lee West’s impending deportation. Dr. West, in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences department, was given notification in March that although he had previously been approved by the campus’ hiring committee to stay on as staff for the upcoming year, he wouldn’t be able to work, and the limitations of his visa would require him to leave the country before August 31, 2012. In late April, the Chancellor held two forums on campus explaining that extending Dr. West’s E-3 Temporary Visa wasn’t legal, although later admitted the problem of rehiring the professor was at the university’s level, not U.S. immigration. An E-3 is an Australian Visa allowing its holder into the US to “work temporarily in a specialty occupation.” Miscommunication between concerned students and the Chancellor evoked ASUWT’s involvement in the matter, although with no resolution in sight, no official statement has been made from student government.

“Personally, as a Senator,” Kelly Mooney said, “I want students to know that their voices and concerns are heard.” Senator Mooney has been the person of contact for discontented students, of which many have approached her with concerns about losing an esteemed professor. Dr. West told members of ASUWT that keeping him on is legal according to the International Scholar’s Office (ISO). According to conversations with J.W. Harrington, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Dr. West was let go for reasons other than his residency status. Mooney stated that ASUWT strives for “open and honest communication” between students and administration, and that she would have liked to have seen more collaboration between ASUWT and the faculty regarding Dr. West.

Comments allegedly made by the Chancellor about the issue of deportation also sparked student confusion and irritation about the issue. Currently, ASUWT senators are writing personal letters to the Chancellor with their concerns about Dr. West’s impending deportation, and are encouraging students to do the same. With his departure deadline the end of this month, Mooney is asking that students email their letters to asuwts4@uw.edu as soon as possible.